Generalizing specialists

Who are generalizing specialists? Why do you want them on your agile team? The term was coined by Scott W. Ambler and describes an individual who is multi-skilled. His definition requires such person to have:

  • one or more technical specialities,
  • knowledge of software development,
  • general knowledge of business domain he works in,
  • openness to learn new things.

Ideal Agile team has members with cross-functional skills.  Being fluent in several technical specialities generalizing specialists can help their teams accomplish technical tasks. Their general knowledge makes teams more flexible. Tasks planned for Sprint are coarse grained and there is less need for synchronization. When tasks can be assigned to anyone no queues and therefore no bottlenecks are created. I would say that general knowledge comes from openness and intrinsic curiosity and both serve well any agile team.

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